Today, Valentine’s Day I came across this article on married love my husband wrote 18 years ago for the men in our church. I’m sharing it with you on my blog. Gals, I think you’ll like it too! May you be blessed!
Marriage by God’s Terms by Wayne Rolfs
Valentine’s Day, the day we celebrate love. I, along with you other married guys, will be buying a card, flowers or candy for the wife God has given us. Judith will receive one peach rose for sure (her favorite) with perhaps a few words of what she means to me.
They say life is all about relationships. After 42 years of marriage, I’m still learning what God had in mind when he said a man will cleave and cling to his wife becoming one flesh, and how to do it. (Genesis 2:24) Here are a few thoughts that God and others have taught me. I confess I’ve been a slow learner.
As Christians, we know marriage was God’s idea. It then must be true that a good marriage will honor God. It’s God giving one person to another to be united with God in love. But when two imperfect people come together, the marriage isn’t always what we had hoped. Although it’s the closest bond two people can have, it can be exhausting, unnerving, infuriating and painful. Believe me, I’ve been there. When we got married the romantic attraction was strong but I was in it mainly for selfish motives often operating on demands and expectations. At this point, I was not a Christian and frankly, at times our marriage was a disaster.
Seven years later, as a Christian, I found out what God wanted. He changed my heart as I prayed to Him to make me the man he wanted me to be. Similar to my spiritual conversion, my marital conversion led me on a gradual path of God-directed change. By God’s grace, He gave me a special love for Judith that grows with each passing year. I’m far from perfect and we still have skirmishes, but our love and commitment is bigger than our problems. Praise God!
God has taught me that mutual respect is one of the most important things in a marriage. Ephesians 5:33 advises, “Let the wife see that she respects her husband.” However it can’t be demanded. We have to show her with our words and behavior that we deserve respect. We need to love and nurture our wife. She needs our emotional intimacy - intimate communication - to be there for her, the one she can turn to for whatever - to be a safe haven where she knows she will be protected and cared for when necessary. Security comes from God, but often speaks through a husband’s love. That’s the work of love God has given us.
Judith, at our weekly sharing times, often tells me about something she noticed me to cause her to respect me. It could be with the children and grandchildren, neighbors, my walk with the Lord, or just being who God has called me to be. Christian leadership for her husband as defined by our spiritual life, humility and servant hood. I think that that’s what wives are looking for in their husbands.
God’s Word says my marriage to Judith should be a total commitment of unconditional agape love - the love that God has for us for the rest of our lives. It is a covenant relationship with my being willing to sacrifice my needs for those of Judith. No strings attached. Only God can enable me to love Judith with covenant love - to treat Judith as God treats me. Ephesians 5 tells me to love my wife as Christ loves the church and love my wife as my own body or self. 1 Corinthians 13 tells me about God’s kind of love, the type of love I need to try to practice.
1 Peter 3:7 says husbands be considerate, (thoughtful, understanding, caring, selfless) as you live with your wives and treat them with respect (honor, esteem, reverence, value) so nothing will hinder your prayer life. Peter says if my relationship with my wife isn’t right my prayers will not be effective because my relationship with the Father, among other things, depends on a loving relationship with my wife.
Try getting into a giving match with your wife. Happiest couples I have met are those who try to out give each other. 1 Corinthian 7:33 says make it a habit to give thought as to how you may please your wife. Proverbs 16:29 states “Pleasant words are honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” What pleasant words do our wives need to hear from us today? Every day?
The Bible makes it clear that the Father desires an intimate relationship with us and also for us with our wives. Judith has become my best friend and I share my deepest thoughts and concerns and feelings with her. God’s plan is for us to know our wife’s love, and she ours, which then gives each of us a deeper appreciation of the Father and his love for us. Marriage can and should be the closest touch and glimpse we can have on earth of what heaven will be like. God is love and heaven is a place of love. (I especially like reading these words because my husband is now in heaven.)
What a blessing is available from God for husbands when married hearts touch physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Don’t be discouraged if your marriage is none of the things I’ve mentioned. Mine wasn’t either, but we have a wonderful God who will do for you what he has done for me if you let him. Let’s move forward in the coming year and encourage each other in His divine plan for our marriages.